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Publisher's Summary

Blasting clichéd career advice, the contrarian pundit and creator of Dilbert recounts the humorous ups and downs of his career, revealing the outsized role of luck in our lives and how best to play the system.

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years? In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Adams shares the game plan he’s followed since he was a teen: invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket.

No career guide can offer advice that works for everyone. As Adams explains, your best bet is to study the ways of others who made it big and try to glean some tricks and strategies that make sense for you. Adams pulls back the covers on his own unusual life and shares how he turned one failure after another - including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants - into something good and lasting. There’s a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of entertainment along the way. Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance:

  • Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
  • "Passion" is bull. What you need is personal energy.
  • A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
  • You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.

Adams hopes you can laugh at his failures while discovering some unique and helpful ideas on your own path to personal victory. As he writes: "This is a story of one person’s unlikely success within the context of scores of embarrassing failures. Was my eventual success primarily a result of talent, luck, hard work, or an accidental just-right balance of each? All I know for sure is that I pursued a conscious strategy of managing my opportunities in a way that would make it easier for luck to find me."

©2013 Scott Adams (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Adams has a funny, refreshingly considered set of ideas about how to find success - and what that success will look like when one gets there." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Scott Adams has drawn nearly 9,000 Dilbert cartoons since the strip began, in 1989, and his cynical take on management ideas, the effectiveness of bosses, and cubicle life has affected the worldview of millions. But he built his successful career mainly through trial and error - a whole lot of error, to be exact." (Harvard Business Review)

What listeners say about How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

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A very different view to looking at Life

We've all grown up believing certain myths passed over by our parents and friends who have seem to have known and seen it all. Scott helps us to look at life and situations very differently and assures us that it's ok to take risks in life.. Ultimately when you look back you realise it was worth every risk taken. A must read!

4 people found this helpful

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good one with some bragging by the author

good one with some bragging by the author.
i waited long time to get the audio version of this bookin india,so finally i completed it .

3 people found this helpful

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Nice Book to have

a great book to have and follow by Scot Adams. He is a sociopath but we can follow his advice.;)

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hilarious and informative

loved it..powerful anecdotes from author experience. some of the topics are dry but presented in a simple and hilarious way. system vs goal is the greatest takeaway from the book. authors battle with voice issues are inspiring. narration is very strong and assertive that you will be forced to listen to every word.

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  • SJ
  • 17-03-21

Totally loved it

A good book with sound advice delivered in a funny way!!
The narration makes it more interesting.

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  • Y
  • 09-01-21

Loved it!

Some interesting advice that can't harm anyone or give people false hope. And even if it gives a person no learning, it's still fascinating to learn about the author's life.

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Failures as system for success

Great book that provides framework (process) for success as defined by individual. Learnt about affirmations and keeping things simple

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great read.

one of the best audo books available on Audible highly recommend this book worth spending tome on this.

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good book ,nice humour

humour is attractive, good lessons. I'd give 4/5 stars. interestingly written , very well narrated.

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Amazingly fun book on systems and good habits

Loved Scott Adam's narration and his dry sense of humor.. He highlights how systems, affarmations work for him.
You won't get a set of rules to apply systems and form good habits, but a cartoonists take on it.

He jumps topic to topic and its not linear -some might get lost and some really enjoy it.

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  • Teancum144
  • 22-02-20

Best Audiobook I've Ever Read

Entertaining, funny, and profoundly insightful!! Superb narration! I wish I'd read this 20 years ago because I'd likely be more successful. First audiobook I'll read over and over again -- it's that good!! Highly recommend!!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Andy P.
  • 13-02-20

A personal testimony of the value of striving

After enjoying LoserThink, I thought I'd read this earlier book, and my biggest disappointment is that Adams didn't narrate it himself. Adams can't help but write in a highly personal way, so when it's someone else's voice, it's a jarring experience.

What you have to love about Adams, even when you might now agree with him, is his honesty. The book is essentially a biography. He's like an old relative telling you about his life, and it's been an interesting life from which we can take two main points. Persistence make it easier for luck to find you. Generalization makes it easier to exploit your opportunities when you get them. Of course, like any old relative, there are the quirks and the obsessions, which while probably not good advice, reflects the reality that successful folks have their own flaws, just like you do.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-20

Obvious until you hear it

The book was easy to listen to, was funny, and informative. A lot of the concepts are practical and it makes sense that they propel success once you hear it. Great life advice.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Donna Farris
  • 06-10-20

Systems, Not Goals

I went into this book optimistic and open-minded. I didn't know what exactly to expect, but I expected to at least glean a handful of useful or interesting tidbits. Literally the only worthwhile topic in this book is the discussion of systems instead of goals. I gave it the benefit of the doubt from the start, and by the end of it I just wanted back all the time I wasted listening to it. Do yourself a favor and just run an internet search for Systems vs Goals and read Sam Adams's blog post about it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • derek larson
  • 07-11-20

Worth Listening to Multiple Times

great insight and advice for all ages. I wish I would've had this book when I was 16. I share principles from it with my 10 yr old also. Any Scott Adams book is an automatic buy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ondrej Elleder
  • 29-08-20

Will listen to it again

Just finished it and will listen to it again to take notes this time:).
Great.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brandon Parker
  • 02-12-19

Crunchy Tips You Can Use Today

I love books that suggest specific tips and tactics. this book changed my routine. I'm closer to certified gangster after reading it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Omar Sacca
  • 03-03-21

keeps me accountable

honestly great mindset therapy, distilled into a conversational and easily understood tone. good for those who find themselves becoming impatient or falling off track. glad i found it, 10/10 would read again

1 person found this helpful

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  • joshua bellace
  • 15-10-20

Scott Adams is a wizard!

The author really walks the tight rope of informative and entertaining. I found my self picking up tips on how to hack my own brain as easily as walking down the beach and picking up seashells. I am a YUGE fan and can't wait to learn how to win BIGLY next.

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  • nick
  • 11-09-20

Practical and Funny

Down to earth useful and remind my self for continual improvement. I even got a few laughs from it. Adam Scott boil down what is important and illustrate that how hard work, good energy level and luck can come together for a fulfilling life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ModernEfficientDesign
  • 09-07-20

A blend of funny and self-help

Having read pretty much every pop psychology and self help book out there, I enjoyed this one a lot. It feels to me like a blend between a synopsis of Steven Covey’s “7 Habits” and James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself”. Adams is similar to Altucher in his self-deprecating tone. Most of the book is focussed on describing his own ineptitude in life, career and business adventures, yet pointing out that overall it all still worked out for him. The writing is gently amusing and mostly anecdotal yet provides some very easy to follow advice on many aspects of life.
My takeaway from this book is that happiness can be defined as: being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. The what and the when are equally important.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Capture Design
  • 25-04-20

Recommended!

I really liked it, many good ideas and ovelall approach. Only surprisingly a lot of coffee advertising, and coffee I think is the last thing on earth that needs extra marketing

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joz
  • 23-03-20

great read

Enjoyed this book and will be putting some new systems in place going forward. highly recommend.

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  • DarkKnight
  • 20-01-20

Excellent

A brilliant book that is well written, practical and engaging. Well worth the listen, even more than once.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-03-21

Fascinating plan outlay and great actionable book!

Great book - very actionable and well thought through - rational and sensible and it felt very interesting and I loved it - will listen again!

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  • Roberto Ruiz-Duarte
  • 14-03-21

Brilliant! Zero BS

One of the best books I heard about, well, almost everything.
Great advice for your career success and life in general.

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  • Hanzi2u
  • 11-03-21

A good book with advise and humour

I liked the narrator a lot, had never listen to Scott Adams but would definitely be looking into his books as they were interesting and funny at the same times, it' is my first ebook I listened to it and it took me around 4 weeks to listen through and I liked it would listen to it again sometime.

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  • Stephanie
  • 03-02-21

Good book

On the surface it is a simple book without ground breaking information. However it is very well written with a broad range of information that essentially shows you the writers philosophy on life. I’ve never really paid any attention to Dilbert but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. Some books are good at really drilling down on a specific topic but this book takes a much wider view of things and as a result is greater than the sum of its parts.

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  • Mr. N. B. Cherry
  • 22-01-21

Curate's egg - good and bad, in parts.

The essence of the narrative content could be reduced to a very few pages. i.e. Adams' career success is down to a mixture of determination and being in the right place at the right time. The passages about dysphonia and corrective vocal cord surgery now seem ironic, considering where Adams managed to lodge his tongue in 2015.

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  • NIgel Lyons
  • 19-01-21

Good read

Lots of useful info here and a good story of how someone failed at lots of things and still succeeded

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  • Van
  • 02-04-20

Great little story.

He doesn't claim to be an expert it's a really light and funny story with some simple messages about success.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 08-03-20

A Must Read For Everyone!

If you're considering reading this book - DO IT!
Scott Adams is my favourite thinker in that he calms me down, cheers me up and challenges to me think differently.
My only complaint is that Scott doesn't read this book himself. The reader does a pretty good job, but Scott is a professional public speaker and explains things brilliantly himself - please re-record this book yourself Scott!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-01-20

good

exceptionally narrated . self help books sprinkled with good humour . some good concepts and ideas

1 person found this helpful

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  • dennishosking
  • 26-10-20

A good book.

A great and easy guide to life and recommended for anyone on their personal development journey.

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  • Joel Muir
  • 11-09-20

Practical & Useful

The book lives up to its title and is full of novel practical approaches to success.

Scott successfully turns the success genre in its head by refuting the passion hypothesis.